tv Politics Nation MSNBC November 14, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
relief effort, send a contribution to saint francis de sales parish, 129-16 rockaway beach boulevard, belle harbor, new york, 11694. take a look. write on the check "relief effort." these groups are doing the inspiring volunteer work that seems to come about when bad things happen to good people. i hope the president gets a look at the efforts when he's in the new york area tomorrow. that's "hardball." "politics nation" starts right now. thanks, chris. thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, prepared to fight. president obama took a strong stand today at his news conference on taxes, on deficits, on immigration. we'll talk about all that later in the show. but we begin with the big story of president obama's smackdown of republicans who have been
playing politics with the tragic killings at our consulate in libya. senators like john mccain and others on the right wing have been trying to have a scandal with the tax against the president's ambassador to the u.n. susan rice. today, the president called and he said, i have had enough. >> let me say specifically about susan rice she's done exemplary work. she represented the united states and our interests in the united nations with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace. as i have said before, she made an appearance at the request of the white house in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.
if senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. i'm happy to have that discussion with them. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador who had nothing to do with benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence she had received and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. i don't think there is any debate in this country when you have four americans killed, that's a problem. we've got to get to the bottom of it. there needs to be accountability. we've got to bring those who carried it out to justice. they won't get any debate from me on that. when they go after the u.n. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target then they've got a problem with
me. >> the president is right. these republican accusations are outrageous. the truth is this. ambassador rice went on the sunday shows after the tragedy, said the attacks began as protests and they were hijacked by extremists. she said this because that's what the cia believed. that's what the cia told her with an intelligence briefing given to her that very day. yet john mccain and other republicans have launched a campaign to smear her and stop her from possibly becoming secretary of state. >> we will do whatever is necessary to block the nomination that's within our power as far as susan rice is concerned. >> i don't trust her. the reason i don't trust her is because i think she knew better and if she didn't know better she shouldn't be the voice of america. i don't think she deserves to be promoted. >> how could we place our trust
in her? >> the question is how can the american people put their trust in lawmakers like these? the republicans are desperate to create a blame game here. so desperate they are actually invoking some of the great gop scandals of the past. >> somebody the other day said to me, this is as bad as water gate. nobody died in watergate. >> this is an administration that's now practicing serial deception. it's like watergate. >> the real scandal here is how republicans are trying to create a scandal and exploit tragedy for political gain. today, the president let them know he will fight them every step of the way. joining me now is former congressman patrick murphy, democrat from pennsylvania. he was the first veteran of the iraq war to serve in congress.
former pennsylvania governor ed ren dell, now an nbc news political analyst. thanks for being here. >> thanks, reverend. >> pleasure. >> congressman, you have worn the uniform of this nation. what's your reaction to mccain and his followers on the libya attacks? >> i'm just disgusted. governor rendell and i are both army veterans. to see the obstructionism and the attacks, and not just on susan rice, but also against john kerry. sean hannidy said john kerry needs to be vetted. he served on the senate foreign affairs committee for 28 years. he was vetted when he got the bronze star in vietnam, when he got the silver star in vietnam, three purple hearts. now they are attacking susan rice, a stanford grad, a rhoads scholar, serves in the clinton administration and served as a
u.n. ambassador. get over it. you lost last week. time for america to come together. it is a disgrace they are playing politics with our foreign policy. >> now, governor, senator mccain last month said -- well, let me let you hear what he said. this is amazing to me. >> it's very clear this was a colossal failure that cost the lives of four brave young americans. there has not been an intelligence fail like this in my lifetime and i have been around for a long time. >> there has not been an intelligence fail like this in his lifetime? what about 9/11? what about the iraq war with weapons of mass destruction where 3,000 americans died? what's he talking about? >> four americans are obviously four too many. but because our intelligence system broke down we went to war in iraq and over 3,000 americans died. how can he dare contrast those two? the thing that bugs me about this is there was a potential
screw-up. we didn't have the right security in place in benghazi. susan rice had nothing to do with it. she wasn't in the chain of command. she didn't have any responsibility at all. all she did was go on television and, as you said, give the report that the cia had given to her. how can they pick on susan rice? why not wait until they find where the breakdown occurred? susan rice served honorbli, well and with grace and dignity. >> you were the first iraqi war veteran to serve in congress. when you hear mccain and others talk about this saying they want to block susan rice who had absolutely nothing to do with anything other than she was briefed, as governor rendell said, and repeating what she was briefed. we have no way of knowing she's nominated to be secretary of state, something the president said he's not decided. but if she is and they raise the
questions to susan rice, how do they then justify they voted to confirm condoleezza rice who purported all over the world weapons of mass destruction that you went to iraq and fought for? >> that's right. lost 19 men in my unit, reverend. let me tell you, that's why people hate politics in america. they thought the campaign was over, we'd come together. they see time and time again darnd not just the destruction with foreign policy. i was a military prosecutor. there are hundreds of federal judges that are obstructing the last four years that haven't been confirmed by the senate. time and time again. gentlemen, ladies in the senate, let's get over it, come together as americans, not as democrats or republicans because what they are doing with susan rice -- and, you know, i have a lot of respect for john mccain. he was a p.o.w. in vietnam, served his country. i really do.
but to see what he's turning into, it's like a character of himself. it breaks my heart. i don't know if it's because he lost four years ago to president obama or what. it breaks your heart as an american to see this. >> the other thing that bothers me is when you hear these conspiracy theories about libya and the timing of the petraeus resignation, let me show you since the congressman here raised mr. hannidy. let me show you the conversation. >> why now? petraeus was supposed to testify this week. >> yeah. it's so suspicious. it is not a coincidence to me. >> the sword was lowered on election day. as soon as the election is over, as soon as he can be dispensed with, the sword drops and he's destroyed. >> they were dishonest with the american people. flat out lied about what happened. >> this was all to stop petraeus from testifying about benghazi. but he's testifying tomorrow. >> sure. >> are they going to be on the air tonight apologizing for
misleading people with their conspiracy theories? >> they knew they could subpoena him as a civilian. what's worse about this is that eric cantor, a republican leader knew about it a month in advance. if they wanted to bring it to light, eric cantor could have brought it to light. there was no cover-up on the part of the administration. eric cantor knew about it. he could have brought it to light. what patrick said is right. the american people are sick of this crap. they want us to concentrate on real things. >> now, wouldn't it be a logical question since it has been stated and confirmed, as you just said, governor, that eric cantor was told about this petraeus situation. wouldn't it be logical to ask did mr. cantor call the white house and say, "what are you going to do about this, are you aware of this"? why are they pointing at everybody except the one
congressman we know knew something, their fellow colleague mr. cantor. >> the republican head of the house intelligence committee, congressman rogers, he didn't know. he should have words with eric cantor. why didn't eric cantor tell the republican head of the intelligence committee in the house. >> i served on the intelligence committee for nofour years in congress. this is what gets my irish up. there was a knucklehead who did this video that dishonored the prophet mohamed. >> right. >> there were protests all over the world in egypt, libya, tripoli and may or may not happen 400 miles away in benghazi regardless. but that's what susan rice was saying. there were protests but this was a terrorist act. there was misinformation. we don't know. but to turn that around when four americans died, even ambassador stevens parents said, please stop politicizing the
death of my son. they have no shame. >> none of us should walk over the feelings of the families that lost these four american lives. thank you so much for your time. >> thanks. >> coming up, are you sure you want to fight this guy? president obama's very tough and very blunt talk on taxes today. what are republicans saying behind closed doors tonight? plus, the former gop king maker is making all kinds of excuses. wait until you hear who karl rove is blaming his epic fail on. and breaking tonight for the first time we are hearing what mitt romney thinks about why he lost. it was a conference call with his national finance committee and it was explosive. he's talking about african-americans and women. you will definitely want to hear this one. you're watching "politics nation" on the place for
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he won't back down. today the president took a tough stand against republicans on taxes. yes, he has a mandate. a mandate for the middle class and he made clear he's going to fight for it. that's next. treatment for low t, can restore testosterone levels back to normal in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact.
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president obama had a blunt message for republicans today. he's the boss and he's standing strong. say good-bye to the bush tax cuts. >> what i have told leaders privately as well as publically is that we cannot afford to extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. what we can do is make sure middle class taxes don't go up. when it comes to the top 2% what i'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it which would cost close to a trillion dollars. we should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy.
>> hold the middle class hostage. make no mistake about it, he means business. but republicans are already digging in their heels. speaker boehner, senator minority leader mitch mcconnell, paul ryan. all of them saying they will fight the president on taxes. all of them saying the president doesn't have a mandate. but president obama has something to say about that. >> i have one mandate. i have a mandate to help middle class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class. that's my mandate. >> this is a clear message. it's what americans voted for a week ago. are you sure you want this fight, republicans? democrat from pennsylvania chuck fatah and ezra klein, msnbc
policy analyst. he's writing about the fight over taxes today and the piece is called "the big question: how, not whether, to raise taxes." thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> good to be here. >> congressman, do you think republicans will make a deal or is this 2010 with the tea party all over again? >> well, what the public needs to understand is the income tax system is not fair to them. there is a report done by the congress each year by the joint committee on taxation. shows thousands of americans who filed income taxes who made over a million dollars who paid zero in federal income taxes. our corporate tax rates are unfair to certain businesses. two-thirds of american corporations pay nothing in terms of corporate taxes. we need to reform the system. what the president is saying is that we are not going to have a system in which the middle class bears the bulk of the burden.
i know ezra has seen it. perfectly legal which is a book written by the leading surprise winner tax reporter on this issue john clay shows if you make over $500,000 a year you pay a much lower share in taxes than if you make $70,000 or $80,000 a year. the president will hold to his position. he has one thing working in his favor which is this sale on taxes that's been around ten years, the bush tax cuts, expire by law on december 31. everyone know ifs they go out of existence, they are never coming back. >> congressman, mr. ryan says the president doesn't have a mandate. let me let you hear for yourself what he said. >> does barack obama now have a mandate? >> i don't think so. because they also re-elected the house of republicans. whether people intended or not
we've got divided government. >> does your colleagues on the other side of the aisle feel that they have the mandate on taxes, not the president, and they will not make a deal or do you think ultimately mr. boehner, mr. ryan and others will make a deal with the president around this issue? >> i think before people sit down for holiday dinners this december there will be a deal. it will be essentially on the president's terms because the leverage really rests with the president. the congress has to present a bill that he's prepared to sign or all of the tax cuts go out of existence. when we come back in next year and the senate passes a tax cut bill for the middle class, it will pass in the house. it will not have any of the tax cuts in existence for higher income people. >> ezezra, let's look at the breakdown of the national debt through 2019. you're the man that knows the
charts better than anyone. you can see the light blue area at the bottom shows various recovery measures like the stimulus. the darker blue area is the impact of the recession. that's the second biggest driver. the red area that's the wars in iraq and afghanistan. then the orange area is the largest piece of the mountain of debt, the bush-era tax cuts. nothing else is close. how can you deal with the national debt without dealing with the bush tax cuts? >> you can't and we are not going to. it was fascinating the way the discussion has moved in the past week or two is you have seen in a clear way what it means to win an election. two months ago the question in american politics was will we raise taxes as part of the fiscal deal? now the only question in
american politics at least on the budget is how will we raise taxes as part of the fiscal deal. republicans want to do it by some version of taxes. they say they are not going to leave the top rate unchanged. they will let the bush tax cuts for the top income expire. if after they expire and they have banked the trillion dollars in revenue republicans want to come through with tax reform, fine. but this discussion is different than it used to b. the fact we'll have new revenues is a foregone conclusion. >> congressman, the president talked about it today. let me show you his statement. >> this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. if there was one thing everybody understood was a big difference between myself and mr. romney, it was when it comes to how we reduce our deficit, i argued for a balanced responsible approach and part of that included making
sure that the wealthiest americans pay a little bit more. >> congressman, the president seemed clear to me. i think the question is how does your colleagues deal with the tea party and far right element in their caucus? do they have enough votes? if you look at the breakdown in congress now, congressman -- and, ezra, i would like your response. you have 233 republicans, 196 democrats. six are still undecided. are there enough republicans to vote with the democrats on a compromise on the president's term in your opinion, congressman? i believe there will be enough votes. they will get it in january. it's a matter of time. we have had billionaires and millionaires too used to getting free stuff. that's to have the most powerful country in the world to call
home, the best military and not pay their fair share. they have to pay their fair share and the president said so. the clock works to the president's advantage. if nothing happens then all of the tax cuts go out of existe e existence. >> right. >> if nothing happens automatic spending reductions take place and the deficit drops to half of what it is now. the president promised to cut it by half. he's saying do it my way or the way congress voted to do it which is through a hatchet. they're going to have to make a choice to do the deal in december or live with the consequences. >> put away the charts and take out the crystal ball and tell me what will happen. >> there will be to be a deal before we hit the cliff or after. if we go over the deal we have
is five to one tax increases to spending cuts because of the bush tax cuts expiring. that's a much worse deal than what president obama is offering the republicans. at some point, and i don't know how much we have to damage the economy before that, republicans will do something they haven't done in years and vote for a tax increase. >> thank you both. >> thank you. >> coming up, the fallout from karl rove's $300 million fail is getting humorous. wait until you hear the new plan. and breaking tonight for the first time we are hearing what mitt romney really thinks about why he lost. you will not believe who he's blaming. stay with us. i always wait until the last minute.
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poor karl rove. he was the $300 million man. bush's brain, the architect, the dpop kingmaker. the man democrats feared. now he has a new title -- excuse maker. it started with his on-air meltdown right after the election was called. now a week later, listen to him respond to the backlash. >> it's a nice badge of honor that the new york times and liberal pundits and democratic party apparatchiks were out there kicking me around. it's a sign of how effective
they know crossroads was in 2010 and what a vital role it played in keeping the race close this year. >> so he's getting slammed because he was effective two years ago. and only liberals are kicking him around. that's an interesting read on the situation. what else you got? >> looks to me like a large number of voters, particularly whites in the industrial midwest, working class white voters said, you know what, i can't vote for obama. but at the end i can't vote for him either. >> way to kick a man when he's down. surely you deserve some blame. no? >> i hate to say it. we need to copy what howard dean did and that is make our ground game in all 50 states. >> imagine that. a ground game in all states. novel idea. what about your role? >> we need to move the
convention back to june or july so our nominee gets picked. then can begin raising money for the general election and doesn't get outspent. >> outspent? this coming from a man who dropped $300 million? okay, but what about the conservative media coverage that falsely hyped up romney? >> the number of debates we had was jaw-dropping. most of the time we had some liberal media figure whose intention was to depict the republican party and conservatives as some kind of nut fringe group. >> that's the ticket. when in doubt, blame the liberal media. if i lost $300 million, i guess i would come up with excuses, too. joining me now, host and producer of "hawk post live" and nia malika henderson from the washington post. thank you both for being here. >> thank you very much.
>> great to be here. >> abby, is rove just making excuses? >> he said it. we lost because of the date of the convention. can you believe it? it's like we are watching a mental breakdown on national television with karl rove. he's right. the ground game is important. what we are seeing now is the blame game being played out. i don't think the ground game is what the problem was. the problem was they didn't -- romney and his team didn't have a message. they didn't have ideas. you could have the best ground game in the world but if you don't interest the voter to have something to be excited about, how are they going to vote for you? that's the problem at hand. what we are seeing play out with republicans now is a little bit like what we saw in 1984 with mon dale. democrats went out to the weeds for a while. they were a little bit lost. then clinton came back, brought the party back with ideas. i hope this is a lesson for republicans. i have hope we can come out of this at some point. >> let me ask you.
we are seeing rove's super pac record and ramping up efforts to blocking democratics' legislation or the legislative efforts of democrats. so he's blaming, making excuses and at the same time switching now to go after some of the legislation that the democrats are planning in this coming legislative session. >> that's right. you know, he's essentially doubling down on what you heard from conservatives that night when obama lost which is that it's not their fault. it's somebody else's fault. karl rove in some ways is becoming a man without a party. he has said for instance that it's the liberal media going after him. if you talked to republicans, conservatives, they feel he didn't do the party much good this go around. he's probably going to have his hand out again to donors. he's got to tell them something
to convince them to keep giving to a cause that has so far failed in this last election. i think you have heard from other republicans, people like bobby jindal, marco rubio, that the party needs to do some soul searching, needs to look at not just the ground game but the message of the party, the way they can be more inclusive in terms of african-americans, latinos. he is, in many ways, talking like a man who's far outside of the main stream of his party. far outside of the kind of circles where things are really going to get done. on capitol hill, at the republican governors association. so i think he's trying to make himself relevant again when this election proved his dpleblt the party is diminishing. >> abby, is not only rubeo or jindal, but mccain is saying different from rove. let me show you what john mccain
said. >> it's obvious they were using the wrong model. we questioned the model from things we were hearing on the ground as we traveled for two months without a day off around the country campaigning for mitt romney. we were hearing things on the ground that contradicted the pollsters. one of the first things i would say is maybe the pollsters should give them money back. >> he's using the same pollster that is mccain used. >> ironic. >> there is so much blame game now. i keep going back to the message. i'm speaking from my generation. i don't remember romney speaking at a lot of college campuses. i can't remember that happening. you have to say, why did we lose? blame the ground game, the pollsters, everything else around you as karl rove is doing. when it comes down to it, it
really is because of the messaging. president obama offered the status quo. we offered more of the same on the track that's working. what we saw from romney and paul ryan was not a message. they didn't provide specifics. they didn't provide an alternative path forward that was better for the key groups. i think there was wiggle room for women, latinoss to say, you know what, i'm curious. i want to hear what you have to say. they didn't offer that. that was the main problem. >> nia, sean hannidy came up with a different scenario. he says that mr. romney lost because of voter fraud, especially in philadelphia. look at this. >> there is now speculation that voter fraud took place in multiple cities after returns showed the president got 100% of the vote in certain districts. is that possible? >> yeah, it's possible. >> you think it's possible? >> it's not unprecedented. >> what do you think the odds
are this is truthful? zero. >> it's not zero. >> i don't believe it. i think this is fraud. >> his own guests told him it happened before. he, oh, no, no, it's voter fraud. >> right. i think you have hannity there acting like speculation is proof of anything. one thing i think happened in terms of voter turnout from democrats, from a lot of voters, african-americans, latinos, that a lot of this conversation around voter i.d. laws actually energized the base. there was a sense that they were not going to be denied from casting ballots. this consistent talk about voter fraud ultimately, i think, backfires on republicans. a lot of conversations whether or not you have it on fox news, on corps conservative blogs. it hasn't done the party much
good because it has allowed democrats the essentially paint the entire republican party as sean hannity, as rush limbaugh. at some point republicans need to sit down with themselves. you know, there is talk of seceding from the country. they need to secede in some ways from conservative outlets that have not served the interest of their parties. >> i do think though -- and i'm speaking from the younger generation -- that in a way it's he will they in the republicans lost. it gives them a chance to sit back and re-evaluate. what's the message going forward? i'm hopeful as a younger republican they can get back on their feet and stop playing the blame game and start talking about ideas, things we can get excited about as a party. i hope that happens. >> abby, thanks for your time this evening. nia, please stick around. we have breaking news tonight.
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the governor has been silent since he walked off the stage in boston a week ago in defeat. today we finally heard from him. but i guess we wish we hadn't. the new york times reports on a 20-minute conference call he held today with his national finance committee. during the call he blamed the loss on president obama's gifts to minorities and young voters. the times says, quote, mr. romney said the president had followed the old playbook of wooing specific interest groups, especially the african-american community, the his panic community, and young people. mr. romney explained, with targeted gifts and initiatives. in each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups, mr. romney said. our strategy worked well with many people. but for those who were given a specific gift, if you will, our
strategy did not work terribly well. he thinks he lost because of so-called gifts? this shows just how clueless he is. joining me now is dr. james peterson, professor at lehigh university and a contributor to the grio.com. let's bring back in nia malika henderson of the washington post. thank you for joining me. >> thanks, rev. >> starting with you, james, what do you make of the comments? >> i'm not surprised mr. romney made the comments. we should just try to clarify what he's referring to as gift-giving and really ex-prefontaine it for what it is. the things he's talking about are the reformation of different interest rates and policies we have used in terms of privatizing student loans for college students. that's not a gift, by the way. that's us having a better understanding of the ways we should not be privatizing loans
for college students. we have to think about the economic impact and think more seriously about what he's referring to as gifts. he talks about free contraceptives to young women. not only do they help diminish abortions but they are used for different health issues for women. it's not just about contraception. putting that as a part of health care is important. young people being able to stay on their parents' health care is not a gift to young people. that's a gift to parents and to our economy on the whole. as health care costs increase our economy becomes much more strained by young people trying to find entry level jobs and trying to sustain themselves. that moment in a young person's life it is important to have as much support as possible. the things he's referring to is gifts is a pejorative term. these are things that help the economy. things that help young people. >> now nia, he talks about the
help with the african-american vote. you can imagine somebody make $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year being told you're now going to get free health care particularly if you don't -- worth $10,000 per family in perpetuity. i mean, this is huge. >> well, i think mitt romney, it isn't surprising. this is a reprize of what he said in the video. >> that's right. >> it's a misreading of what happened. you don't win massachusetts because of the black vote, wisconsin, iowa or any of these states. >> or women. mentioned contraceptives, so women are a part of it. free contraceptives. they were very big with young college-aged women. >> here mitt romney is proving his time on the national stage
is over. he's talking to donor there is, making excuses about why he blew millions of dollars that they donated to him over the amounts when he had his hand out at fund-raisers. he's off message in terms of where the republican party needs to be and where many folks in the party say they want to be. but here again, i guess it is no surprise that he's talking this way about this. there are times when you listen to mitt romney and it's clear that he's in some ways getting his talking points from the conservative blogosphere. this is one of those cases. this whole idea that there are more takers in this country than makers. supposedly the takers voted for obama. it's offensive. doesn't help the republican party when he says things like that. i'm sure many of them are glad that this is his final round in terms of interviews. at some point it seems like
president obama may sit down with him to get ideas around the economy. i doubt any of the ideas about obamacare and contraception are going to come up. >> james, the thing that's disturbing to me, when you have people who don't say don't give any raising of taxes or don't stop tax cuts to the rich it help it is economy. they almost deserve it. a sense of entitlement. if you give anything to people that are working every day, making the country work it's a gift to them. they are entitled to nothing. americans aren't entitled to health care. students aren't entitled to being aided along with college education. >> exactly. >> they are given gifts, but the rich are entitled to stuff. there is a real difference in how we judge people's humanity and when you look at those kinds of economic policies.
>> that's right. exactly what nia said. it's offensive and it is also wrong. these people pay taxes as well. we force the distinction between taxpayers, the government, people in the government is a false distinction. it does serve those who are subsidized by the government like the kind of corporate tax breaks oil companies receive or the ways those of the rich who can use and manipulate the tax code. they are takers as well. at the end of the day with the people mr. romney is talking about on the call, they are also taxpayers. they work, pay taxes. the young people coming out of college are the people of the future. they are going to do the research, the work we need to transform the economy to a 21st century economy. to demonize them or think the government is giving them gifts doesn't make sense. it's not only wrong-headed but inaccurate. they pay taxes as well. they are part of the economy. the specific policy mr. romney is talking about -- affordable
health care, reformation of the student loan processes, those things help our economy long-term. >> these are policies that have been advocated for decades. i think that clearly fdr and others were not giving out gifts 60 years in advance for president obama. >> exactly. >> james peterson and nia malika henderson. thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, president obama was tough today. he's also said that dirty word that republicans just hate -- compromise. that's next. [ mother ] you can't leave the table
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the ideas. >> both parties can work together. there is only one way to solve these challenges. that's to do it together. i'm open to compromise and new ideas. we have to work together and put our differences aside. we're going to have to compromise. >> that's what americans voted for last week. today the president made it clear. he got the message. >> you know, michelle and i were talking last night about, you know, what an incredible honor and privilege it is to be put in this position. there are people all across the country, millions of folks who worked so hard to help us get elected. but there are also millions of people who may not have voted for us but are also counting on us. we take that responsibility very seriously. i take that responsibility very seriously. and i hope and intend